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Tuesday, May 09, 2017

The Bullpen and Bull Durham – Our Game

This simile no doubt has its basis in two earlier usages of the word bullpen — as a prison enclosure, primarily an open-air improvised demarcation; and as a “schoolboys’ ball game, played by two groups, one group outlining the sides of a square enclosure, called the bullpen, within which are the opposing players” (The Oxford English Dictionary). The ball game, popular on the Ohio–Indiana–Kentucky frontier of the 1850s, is first men­tioned in print in Edward Eggleston’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 08:23 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: history

What Age Do Baseball Players Peak? | Exploring Baseball Data with R

Some people have made some (in my view) unreasonable assumptions to learn about aging.  For example, it doesn’t make sense to assume that each player peaks at age 28.  People have different aging patterns — this means that players have different peak ages and also that players have different paths in maturing and in declining towards retirement.  So one need flexibility in any model to allow for these differences.  If one makes restrictive assumptions, then you’ll get answers which are ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 08:19 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: aging, sabermetrics

Greg Maddux was master of control, efficiency | MLB.com

“I never worried about pitch count,” Maddux said. “The only thing that mattered to me was getting the ‘W.’ That’s what I was out there trying to do. I didn’t think about how many pitches—I threw however many it took.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 07:59 AM | 40 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, cubs, greg maddux

O-ver the top: Trumbo HR is above, beyond! | MLB.com

Trumbo tomahawked the high and outside 92-mph fastball from Gio Gonzalez a Statcast-estimated 417 feet. The pitch was also measured at 4.62 feet off the ground, making it the highest pitch hit for a homer in the Pitch Tracking Era (since 2008). The previous highest in pitch tracking history was a Hunter Pence homer on Aug. 23, 2014, at 4.56 feet. (Good Lord). The previous highest in the Statcast Era was 4.38 feet hit by Evan Gattis on July 8, 2015. Honestly, that’s just what strong, baseball ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 09, 2017 at 07:56 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mark trumbo, orioles

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Giants might be the worst team in baseball, but they’ll never rebuild

This is a franchise that is claiming a sellout streak of more than 500 games. And while they didn’t really have a completely full ballpark for all of those games, they’re certainly drawing extremely well, and here’s what they can sell to their fans, even in a season like this: Come cheer Buster Posey. Come watch Brandon Crawford. Come watch the entirely homegrown infield that you’ve grown incredibly fond of.

Right now, that sales pitch still works. They can sell that to their fans. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 10:44 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: giants

Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon suspected to have testicular cancer

Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon underwent surgery Monday morning for suspected testicular cancer.

The right-hander had the surgery at Allegheny General Hospital.

After alerting the team’s medical staff of an abnormality, Taillon consulted with Dr. John C. Lyne over the weekend. Lyne performed the surgery.

The recommended treatment plan for Taillon is pending further testing.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:53 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: cancer, jameson taillon, pirates


In-Market Streaming Of Mariners, Astros, Pirates, And Rockies Games Arrives Via ROOT Sports

Fans of the Seattle Mariners, Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Colorado Rockies can now watching games in-market as the AT-&T Sports Network-owned ROOT SPORTS family of regoinal sports networks announced today that digital streaming is now available. The deal that was announced in March, along with NESN airing Red Sox games, hit a technical snag with authentication services had the networks targeting May as the roll-out, and today, that came to fruition.

The deal between ROOT Sports and ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 04:39 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, mariners, pirates, rockies, root sports, streaming

Following that Yankees-Cubs marathon, making a case for and against ties in MLB

The one thing I keep coming back to on this subject remains: What is gained by continuing the game past the 13th inning?
Taking Sunday’s example, the Yankees won a game and the Cubs lost. What’s the likelihood that it makes a difference in the standings at the end of the year to have a Yankees W and Cubs L instead of two Ts? There’s a slight chance it will matter, but the odds are very low.
Honestly, though, I’m just not seeing a whole lot of redeeming value to making the teams play into the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 01:40 PM | 97 comment(s)
  Beats: extra innings, ties

Why ESPN Hemorrhaging Money Will Impact The Next Wave Of National TV Deals

Overall, the landscape is seeing a shift with subs dropping from pay-TV. Whether there is a shift in providing skinny bundles or somehow channels being offered ala carte, fees through traditional pay-TV subscribers will likely continue to drop. Disney has made a substantial investment in BAM Tech, the MLB Advanced Media spin-off to provide ESPN an over-the-top (OTT) service platform that can grow, but there is bound to be a period of flux between the pay-TV model and getting to cord-cutters or ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 11:46 AM | 52 comment(s)
  Beats: cable, espn, television rights

One month later, Guthrie still coping with career-ending start

Guthrie took the mound that night at Citizens Bank Park - on his birthday, no less - having achieved his goal of returning to the majors when few thought it possible. And then ...

“For six weeks - I told my wife this - I felt unhittable,” he said. “I’d go out there in those spring games, and I just felt like I could throw the ball where I wanted to, get it to move and get people out. And then in 47 pitches in Philadelphia, I felt like I couldn’t get anybody out. And after that, I was ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 11:05 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: jeremy guthrie

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-8-2017

Harrisburg Telegraph, May 8, 1917:

The no-hit game pitched by Bob Groom, of the St. Louis Browns, against the Chicago White Sox [May 6] is the fourth one of the present baseball season.

This makes an early-season record for the number of no-hit games pitched. The other hitless games of the year were as follows

Cicotte of the White Sox against the Browns on April 14.
Mogridge of the Yanks against the Red Sox on April 24.
Toney of Cincinnati against the Cubs on May 2.

Groom’s no-hitter was ...

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Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:58 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: dugout, history, no-hitters

The Predictable Bias of MLB Network

I decided to perform an experiment. To determine if MLB Network really does serve as the Yankees’ second mouthpiece, or if, perhaps, the bias extends to other teams, I would watch MLB Now or MLB Central each day of one randomly selected week per month of the season.

The experiment had begun.

Following a network ad that featured actor Kevin James, of King of Queens; actor Ed Burns, from Queens; and actor Hank Azaria, from Queens, the show welcomed analysts Ken Rosenthal and Dave Valle. I ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:38 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: mlb network, yankees

New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs combine for 48 strikeouts in 18-inning New York win

Aaron Hicks slid across home plate, hopped up and flexed his arms in jubilation.

No Monday morning blues for Hicks and the New York Yankees.

Hicks scored on Starlin Castro’s grounder in the 18th inning, and the rolling Yankees beat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 in the majors’ longest interleague game ever by innings.

“We’re going to grind out games,” Hicks said. “We’re going to fight to the end.”

The teams combined for a major league-record 48 strikeouts in baseball’s longest game ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 08, 2017 at 09:13 AM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, yankees

Sierra makes big jump for big league debut | St. Louis Cardinals | stltoday.com

This is very surprising.

When Cardinals manager Mike Matheny walked into the clubhouse early Sunday morning he found one player sitting there, “beaming from ear to ear,” he said. Magneuris Sierra, the 21-year-old prospect from high Class A, left Jupiter, Fla., at 3 a.m. and still beat most of his new teammates to SunTrust Park.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2017 at 08:16 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, magneuris sierra

K-Rod ‘embarrassed’; Brad Ausmus: Tigers will discuss closer situation

“We’re going to have to have a discussion,” Ausmus said. “He’s not closing out games. It’s something he’s done for a decade. So I think it’s very obvious that it’s not the same Frankie.”

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2017 at 08:15 AM | 43 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers

The Predictable Bias of MLB Network – The Hardball Times

Why wouldn’t they spend more time on the biggest fan bases?

Jim Furtado Posted: May 08, 2017 at 08:14 AM | 88 comment(s)
  Beats: media


A-Rod reportedly passed on opportunity to oppose Derek Jeter in Marlins bidding

We could have had two prominent Republicans, each with their own former Yankee superstar, bidding against each other for the Marlins. Why can’t we have nice things?

Hank G. Posted: May 08, 2017 at 07:30 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: arod, jeter, marlins

OTP 8 May 2017: FIBA to allow Muslim athletes to compete while wearing hijab

Nothing to do with baseball this week, but an important development at the intersection of sport, religion, gender, and politics:

Muslim women now will be able to compete in basketball while wearing hijab, thanks to a rule change by the international governing body for the sport.

The ruling, which takes effect Oct. 1, is the culmination of a study by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) that began in September 2014 and follows a trend in which more governing bodies are allowing ...

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BDC Posted: May 08, 2017 at 07:30 AM | 1817 comment(s)
  Beats: basketball, muslims, politics, women in sports

Sunday, May 07, 2017

60 Minutes: How the Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series after 108 years

Epstein devised a five-year-plan to go all the way from worst to first. Starting with the draft.  Most teams take young pitchers but Epstein chose hitters. He said hitters don’t get hurt as much. 

Theo Epstein: Not only were they safer bets, but we also felt we could change the culture a little bit easier by building around talented position players with high character.

Bill Whitaker:  So you’re looking for more than just their skills. You’re looking for character.

Theo Epstein: Yeah. ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2017 at 10:31 PM | 46 comment(s)
  Beats: 60 minutes, cubs, theo epstein

Mets suspend Matt Harvey three days without pay for violating team rules

Matt Harvey has been suspended for three days without pay for violating club rules, Sandy Alderson announced Sunday. Though Alderson wouldn’t say what the starting pitcher was disciplined for, team sources said the suspension stems from a compilation of issues dating back to last year. The suspension is not related to the sex toy spotted in Kevin Plawecki’s locker on Friday night, a source said.

Mets owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon were spotted on the field having a heated ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2017 at 01:24 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: dildo, matt harvey, mets


No activity for Noah for six weeks

Once Syndergaard finishes that period of inactivity, he likely will need almost a personal repeat of spring training to get his arm back to where he can pitch again for the Mets.

“There’s going to be a period of time after that to ramp him back up,” general manager Sandy Alderson said of the six-week inactivity, “so we can all speculate about how long that will take. But I think realistically it’s going to take a while, so we don’t know when he’s going to be back. … It’s ...

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Jim Furtado Posted: May 07, 2017 at 08:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: mets, noah syndergaard

Cito Gaston reflects on Adam Jones, history of racism in baseball - Sportsnet.ca

Cito Gaston gives some historical perspective.Although progress has been made we still have a ways to go.

It wasn’t the racist insults hurled by the fan that stung Cito Gaston the most. The vitriol certainly hurt, but he’d heard it all before. What bothered him even more was the fact that the man showing up to every game to express his blind hatred always brought his son with him. The little boy stood beside the grown man, soaking in his father’s bigotry as he took in America’s pastime. ...Read More...

Jim Furtado Posted: May 07, 2017 at 08:10 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: race in baseball


Saturday, May 06, 2017


Tim Tebow Huge Draw In Minors

If you sign him, they will come:

The Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL quarterback has minor league fans around the Single A South Atlantic League flocking to stadiums and jamming ticket lines to see the Columbia Fireflies outfielder and designated-hitter.

The Hickory Crawdads sold out four games with the Fireflies, its total of 17,500 for the series surpassing the 15,900 they drew their first eight games. “We had 4,500 people in the stands,” Crawdads season ticket holder Christopher Pack ...

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NYDN: Mets accidentally tweet photo showing sex toy in Kevin Plawecki’s locker

Shrug. Third-string catchers need to find ways to keep themselves entertained.

Meat the Mets.

Following the Amazin’s huge comeback win over Miami, the team’s Twitter account posted a photo of T.J. Rivera wearing a crown, a new franchise tradition for the player of the game.

But they immediately had to take it down after fans pointed out that the picture clearly shows a large sex toy sitting at the base of Kevin Plawecki’s locker, behind Rivera.

Renegade (((JE))) Posted: May 06, 2017 at 01:36 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: kevin plawecki, lolmets, mets, sex workers

Friday, May 05, 2017

Our 2017 Goose-Egg Reliever Rankings Are Here

But as Ben Lindbergh recently documented over at The Ringer, the hegemony of the save may have loosened just slightly. So far this year, the Cleveland Indians’ Andrew Miller — who might be the American League’s best reliever — has made five appearances that stretched over multiple innings. Miller, who has yet to allow a run on the season, doesn’t have any saves. But he does have 10 goose eggs, tying him for third in baseball. (All statistics in this article are accurate through the ...

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RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 05, 2017 at 10:32 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: fivethirtyeight, goose eggs, relievers

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